Sunday, 31 October 2010
|The Busclipper Colonel|
|meets The Witchfinder General|
We're through the looking glass here, people...
I used to love watching Vision On when I were a nipper. So one day, naturally, I went trawling youtube for clips. I was instantly drawn to the music used for this weightlifter sequence - spacey proto-synth pop with a touch of pathos - and wished I knew where it came from.
Then, only a couple of months later, working purely on a hunch, I won a copy of Mike Vicker's 1975 KPM libary album "A Moog For More Reasons" on ebay. When I played it, I nearly shat my pants with delight to discover that the track "Surf Rider" (side 2, track 3) was the weightlifter music in question.
Since then I've scored a couple more of Vicker's electronic library albums and they all have much to recommend them, ranging from twee child-like melodies, funky moog jams and extreme Radiophonic experimentation. Not bad for an ex-Manfred Mann member. I think he helped the Beatles operate their Moog when making the Abbey Road album too, but let's not hold that against him.
If anyone has a copy of his "Moog Plus Brass" album to sell, I might be interested...
Saturday, 30 October 2010
It had memorable elements, certainly, as, forty years on, some of the catch phrases and characters still stick in the public consciousness, but viewed nowadays via the wonder of satellite TV it's a parade of antiquated attitudes, cliched sitcom conventions and pathetic blundering about by elderly actors (Reg Varney was 53 when the programme was first broadcast, pushing 60 when it finished), a really rather tawdry and slightly grim reminder of a very different time.
That said, all long running programmes occasionally go mental, and thanks to my old pal Gary Zammit and his dubious viewing habits, here is the moment, six series in, when 'On The Buses' goes off piste and crashes into a tree. Several points of interest --
1. the bizarre Radiophonic blips, bleeps and camera movements that punctuate the scene -
2. the bit with Blakey at the window (does 'The Wickerman', released a year later, pay 'homage' to it?) -
3. the extraordinary bleakness of the aerial shots -
4. the concrete soundtrack of birdsong and uncomfortable laughter.
It's a fantastic clip. So fantastic, in fact, that I haven't even asked how the hell he got to find something like this. Truth be told, I'm a little frightened of the answer.
Oh, as it's nearly Halloween, do you want to hear something really terrifying? Forget about 56 year old Reg, Bob Grant and Stephen Lewis (conductor Jack Harper and Inspector Blakey) were only 40 and 36 years old, respectively, when this sequence was filmed.
From a BBC news story on the House
The castellated Windhouse, which has been derelict since the 1920s, is reputedly one of the most haunted homes in the country. The ghostly goings-on are attributed to the presence of an ancient graveyard under the original structure.
Spectral occupants are said to include a servant girl who mounts invisible steps, a man in a top hat, and a ghost dog.
Over at Ghost weather they have a more detailed history of the house.
I have seen this place twice. Once, at night on the way to a friends house, the other time on a grey gloomy day in bad weather (which felt more unsettling) . There is something undeniably errie about the place...
Information Britain: "For thirty years the Garcias have been operating this shining beacon of Tenerife lifestyle and cuisine in the cloudy North [sic!!]... The dining room is very spacious, with beamed ceiling and white walls... Friendly, caring atmosphere. What's cooking? Starters include red peppers stuffed with spiced chicken, or king prawns in chilli sauce..."
Wikipedia: "Eastside is a district of Birmingham City Centre, England currently undergoing a major redevelopment project… Los Canarios… was Birmingham's first Spanish restaurant. The restaurant has now been demolished, along with the rest of the building, to make way for the Eastside City Park".
Friday, 29 October 2010
Thursday, 28 October 2010
It's a bit brutal, however it's still quite a haunting looking thing just sitting there, resonating images of the 60's and 70's PIF's and kids at play...
- 1. Minimalism. Minimalism. Minimalism.
2. Every sound must be strong enough to carry its function alone.
3. No more than eight tracks on any song.
4. As few as possible sonic elements playing at any one time - to preserve maximum power and fidelity.
5. All mixes dubbed ruthlessly, to see how much they can be stripped further - to ensure getting rid of anything unnecessary, then exposing hidden instruments.
6. Use the instruments I have, with as few additions as absolutely necessary.
7. Subject matter - a man, a woman and a city.
8. Attitude - detached urban romance, without sentimentality.
9. Write only songs you would want to hear - without compromise.
10. Once you are sure of the direction and content, don’t alter them for anything - no matter what the reaction is.
The ten rules John Foxx used in the recording of Metamatic. From an enthralling interview which includes discussion of early synthesizers, Conny Plank, Eno, London in the 70s...
The Enfield poltergeist was one of the most thoroughly investigated paranormal events of the late 20th century. Centering on Janet, 11, and to a lesser extent her sister Margaret, 13, the family reported strange noises, and other manifestations were documented including the movement of large items of furniture, Janet's levitation (pictured), unexplained fires and (best of all) a gruff male voice similar to Regan's voice in 'The Exorcist' coming from both girls. This continued for more that a year around 1977. When Janet and Margaret are asked about it they maintain to this day that the phenomena were genuine and investigators have failed to offer convincing explanations.
(While David Soul looked on... Come on Silver Lady...)
Norfolk has certainly featured heavily on these pages over the last few months, and its crumbling cliffs, creepy waxworks and unusually shaped military installations will, no doubt, continue to be of interest.
For those that think the hauntological crown lays elsewhere, your photographs and field reports are eagerly anticipated.
Wednesday, 27 October 2010
Not so much a short film, more like a long cry for help. I am slightly obsessed with Cliff Richard's 'Wired For Sound'. I can handle it, but every now and again I find myself thinking about nothing else, usually whilst roller skating through an underground car park.